How the world transfer record has developed over the years

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Neymar appears on the verge of becoming the most expensive player in football history after informing Barcelona of his desire to leave amid talk of a 222million euros (£199million) move to Paris St Germain.

Here, we look at the previous players to have broken the record in the last two decades.

Alan Shearer – 1996: £15million (Blackburn to Newcastle)

Having won the Premier League at Blackburn in 1995, all-time Premier League record goalscorer Shearer returned to his hometown club a hero.

Ronaldo – 1997: £19.5million (Barcelona to Inter Milan)

The Brazil striker moved on to break the record for the second time in a year but, despite a great scoring ratio, he only won the UEFA Cup during his spell at the San Siro.

Denilson – 1998: £21.5million (Sao Paulo to Real Betis)

A precocious talent in Brazil, Denilson never made the desired impact after his record move and struggled to hold down a place at Betis before moving on.

Christian Vieri – 1999: £32million (Lazio to Inter Milan)

Eight clubs in as many seasons eventually led Vieri to Inter, where they broke the transfer record once again and he would form a formidable partnership with Ronaldo.

Hernan Crespo – 2000: £35.5million (Parma to Lazio)

A year later, Lazio replaced Vieri with Crespo and he ended his first season with the club as Serie A’s top goalscorer.

Luis Figo – 2000: £37million (Barcelona to Real Madrid)

The era of the Galacticos truly began with the acrimonious transfer of Portugal winger Figo between the Clasico rivals.

Zinedine Zidane – 2001: £46.6million (Juventus to Real Madrid)

Madrid continued to build their team of superstars by adding France international Zidane from Juventus – and he went on to become coach at the Bernabeu.

Kaka – 2009: £56million (AC Milan to Real Madrid)

Breaking their own record once again, Kaka’s move from Italy was not as successful as Madrid would have hoped but he still lifted a LaLiga title before returning to Milan in 2013.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 2009: £80million (Manchester United to Real Madrid)

Having coveted Ronaldo for a couple of years, Madrid upped their record significantly to land the 2008 Ballon d’Or winner – and the Portuguese went from strength to strength in Spain.

Gareth Bale – 2013: £86million (Tottenham to Real Madrid)

A fifth-straight record broken by Madrid as they returned to England to poach the Premier League’s hottest talent – this time taking Wales international Bale to Spain, where he would flourish.

Paul Pogba – 2016: £89million (Juventus to Manchester United)

Having left Old Trafford four years earlier for a nominal amount, France midfielder Pogba returned as the new world-record signing.

Source: PA

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